Facebook replaces Chrome with Opera as recommended browser

Google Chrome's market share has been growing steadily since the browser's release in 2008, but that's apparently not enough for Facebook, which appears to have dropped Chrome from its list of recommended browsers.

The social network's landing page for people using unsupported web browsers now suggests Opera instead of Chrome. Support for Internet Explorer and Firefox continues.

The move will undoubtedly fuel more speculation, following recent rumours about the social giant's plans to acquire the desktop and mobile browser. Among its most significant perks is its mobile optimisation, which allows users to surf the Web a lot faster than on other browsers. (ed : I believe a purchase of Opera would signal Facebook's intention to delve into the smartphone market).

According to new reports, one third of Internet users run Chrome, which has been neck-and-neck with Internet Explorer for some time now. Opera's market share is significantly lower, with less than three per cent of the market. However, the browser has managed to rack up significant adoption rates in emerging markets like Eastern Europe and Asia and in the mobile market.

The Oslo-headquartered company has seen its share prices rise amidst speculation about Facebook's interest. The social network should expect to fork well over some $1.35 billion (£883 million) if the acquisition proves to be true.